Have you ever stopped serving others because of a weary heart? Do you avoid serving Christ because it is a struggle? Working woman, moms, wives, and fellow christian servants—don’t let weariness steal the joy and blessings of serving others.
“For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, KJ V)
I played competitive soccer in college and let me tell you that I sure had to put in a lot of hard work for something that I enjoyed. The running and strength training was grueling and some days I would have rather been anywhere but at a practice or game.
Often I would force myself onto the soccer field so that I didn’t let my teammates down. I’d push through aching muscles, a stuffy nose, or a bad day because once I stepped onto that field all those things pulling me away from it disappeared. The joy of playing soccer would come back despite my weaknesses.
I promise you, I never left the field after a practice or game and thought: “Wow. I really regret doing that.”
Serving God by serving others can be the same way. A lot of hard work. Tempting to walk away from. Yet, glorious in the end.
Focus on the Lord When Serving Others
Maybe you can’t relate to my soccer story. But how about the gym? Have you ever dreaded a workout so much that you talked yourself out of going? Did you later wish you had gone? Or maybe you made yourself go to the gym regardless of what you thought or felt. Did you regret working out afterwards? I highly doubt it!
Serving God by serving others can be the same way.
The work can seem daunting. Tiring. Painful. Not what you want to do at the moment.
Now, can I be honest with you?
I don’t always feel like serving the Lord. There are days when serving others feels more like a job than a joy. And frankly, there are days—even season of life—when I don’t have the strength to put in the effort I know I’ll need to serve in a way that brings honor and glory to my King.
Do you focus on how difficult the work will be rather than reaching out towards the one who will give you the strength to complete it?
You don’t need to muster up the strength. You need to find that mustard seed of faith and let God do the rest. That smallest of small seed of faith will flourish into more than you can imagine.
When I serve, and I mean every time, I receive an abundance of joy and blessings. Maybe not immediately, but in His timing. You can too.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9, KJ V)
Isn’t this promise from God wonderful and encouraging?
Faint Not When Serving Others
To faint means “to become feeble; to decline or fail in strength and vigor; to be weak.¹” To put it simply, we “faint not” when we maintain our strength in the Lord and His power. Conversely, we faint when we give into the weaknesses of our flesh.
I truly enjoy teaching children about the Savior and everything His word says. My heart swells when a child exudes excitement after memorizing a verse or answering a question about a Bible lesson. The Lord blesses me with this valuable gift of teaching and I feel called to use it.
And yet, if I don’t carefully guard my heart and keep my eyes on my heavenly Father, I easily fall prey to the weakness of my flesh. The temptation to disobey God and throw away such a precious gift is real.
I find myself grumbling as I prepare a lesson.
I start doubting my ability to instruct the children with accuracy and efficiency.
Dare I say it? I think about all the other people in my church who have more time on their hands and should be teaching instead of me. (Now I’m embarrassed.)
Do you ever let the weakness of your flesh derail you from your responsibility of serving others?
STOP Weariness When Serving Others
Whenever I feel the prick of my flesh, I remember that this old body of mine is under attack by principalities and powers that trick me into fighting against myself and fleeing from the One who can save me.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12, KJ V)
Let the pain of weakness remind you to stand guard and fight against things that cause you to grow weary.
Weariness dwindles our resolve to serve the Lord and steals the blessings He promises to us as His faithful servants.Click To Tweet
But would you believe me if I told you that you can use the weakness of your flesh to your advantage?
How, do you ask?
If you can find the spark of your weakness, you can extinguish it with God’s truth before it ignites and fully consumes you.
The “spark” of your weakness may come from:
- Negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear, or sadness)
- Lies that become artificial truths (e.g., all areas of ministry are filled)
- Doubt (e.g., questioning your ability to serve or God’s plan for you)
- Physical limitations or ailments (e.g., fatigue, disability, or a cold)
- Pride (an attitude of “this is above me”)
- Selfishness (e.g., making our own needs more important, reasoning that we don’t have enough time to serve, or finding no personal gains from the service)
- Discouragement (perhaps caused by people or a lack of results)
Take time daily to stop these weaknesses from creeping into your life so that you are able to go to and experience the blessing of serving others.
GO to the Harvest of Serving Others
For me, reaping the harvest of serving is dependent on my ability to start and persevere through the weariness that will inevitably come. I do not always battle against weariness when I serve others, but I try to be on guard because it certainly creeps in when I least expect it.
The devil will do all he can to prevent you from obeying God and serving others.
You must do everything you can to defeat his ploys. Only then can you reap the blessings God promises his christian servants in Galatians 6:9.
In my experience, there are several things you can do to be successful in serving others and to reap the harvest in due season.
1. PRAY ABOUT SERVING.
This should happen first every time! If you desire to follow God, you need to ask Him about serving others. Where does He want to use you? Can He open a door for you or give you eyes to see where there is a need? You might also request that He changes your heart if serving is a struggle for you.
2. START SMALL.
Starting small is better than never starting at all. Serving doesn’t have to be a large project or time commitment. Perhaps you can help for an hour or two at your church’s cleanup day. Or try sending a card to a friend or family member you’ve been praying for. You can even try visiting with an older person in your church who has a tough time getting out of the house. Service comes in all shapes and sizes. (It might be highly visible or completely invisible. As long as God sees it, that’s all that matters!)
3. COMMIT TO X, Y, OR Z, ON SUCH AND SUCH A DATE.
Signing up for a specific service or telling someone exactly when you’ll help out makes you accountable. Accountability ups the likelihood that you’ll follow through.
4. FREE TIME IN YOUR SCHEDULE TO SERVE.
By far the biggest excuse I come up with when my flesh tells me not to serve is that I don’t have enough time. Can you imagine looking Jesus in the face and telling him you’re too busy? The thought breaks my heart! Assess all your to-do items and scratch out nonessential items. (Reducing your screen time or delegating more responsibilities to your children/spouse might be one way to do this!)
5. SERVE WITH ANOTHER WILLING SERVANT.
Serving with another person, be it a friend, family member, or someone new to an area of service, can help stifle the root of your weakness. I teach junior church on Sundays with two wonderful ladies who encourage me, give me ideas I never would have thought of, and lessen the amount of work we each need to do. They also make serving a lot of fun!
6. TRY IT, YOU’LL LIKE IT.
I can’t take credit for this adage. It comes from the kid’s television show Gabba Gabba. The catchy phrase repeats over and over again in a song that tries to convince kids that if they just try different fruits and vegetables that they’ll like them. I’m not trying to change your mind about vegetable because some of them are gross. The point is to just do it (thanks, Nike!) because you’ll never experience the joy of serving if you don’t actually serve.
7. TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS
No, really. Think about what He did. His sacrifice. The mercy and grace He extends to us. Now try to talk yourself out of serving others and experiencing the harvest of blessings He promises to you.
Finally, don’t postpone serving the Lord. It is waiting that cultivates weariness in the first place!
In what way(s) does your flesh try to keep you from serving and what Bible verses might encourage you to persevere as a servant of the Lord?
¹Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828.